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GOOD Q&A: Jacqueline Novogratz

Here at GOOD, we're fortunate to work with some amazing nonprofit partners. But, to borrow a line from the indelible Reading Rainbow, "don't take...



Here at GOOD, we're fortunate to work with some amazing nonprofit partners. But, to borrow a line from the indelible Reading Rainbow, "don't take our word for it." We caught up with Acumen Fund Founder and CEO Jacqueline Novogratz to learn about Acumen, finding solutions to global poverty, and what keeps her inspired.


What does a $20 donation do for the Acumen Fund?
It makes you a stakeholder in creating real solutions that begin by looking at poor people as individuals. Think about buying shares of stock in solutions that aren't just about giving things away but instead are about making tools and technologies affordable and accessible enough for people to change their own lives. Twenty dollars is an inexpensive share in a future that includes all of us. I could talk about reducing the price of malaria nets, but I think we need to get away from "$10 will save a life" and other slogans that fit on a T-shirt. Instead, we need to build lasting solutions that fundamentally change the system so that everyone can thrive without having to be dependent forever on charity. We're building companies that will help the poor – and bring in far more resources in than we invest – long after we are gone. And we believe that is at the essence of leadership.

What's the most innovative poverty solution you've come across with Acumen?
All of our investments are innovative but not necessarily in the way you might think. Take drip irrigation for example. You wouldn't believe how simple a product this is – just tubing with little holes in it. The innovation was in the entrepreneur seeing poor farmers as potential customers.

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